Make mine Darjeeling: Locally identified foods promote sustainable development, UN study finds
Not just any peppers, but white Penja peppers, grown in volcanic soil in the Cameroon; not just any cabbage, but Futog cabbage, cultivated alongside the Danube in Serbia. The rising number of products with a specific and certified geographic origin, it turns out, not only have cachet among gourmands: they are also providing large economic and social benefits to rural areas and can foster sustainable development, according to a new study released by the UN agriculture agency.
Food products with trademarked geographical labels, which have specific qualities or reputations tied to their place of origin, already account for annual trade of more than $50 billion worldwide, according to the report, Strengthening sustainable food systems through geographical indications, by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development
“Geographical indications are an approach to food production and marketing systems that place social, cultural and environment considerations at the heart of the value chain,” said Emmanuel Hidier, Senior Economist in FAO’s Investment Centre.
“They can be a pathway to sustainable development for rural communities by promoting quality products, strengthening value chains, and improving access to more remunerative markets,” he added.
“The unique linkages of these products with their natural and cultural resources in local areas make them a useful tool in the advancement of the Sustainable Development Goals, in particular by preserving a food heritage and contributing to healthy diets,” said Florence Tartanac, Senior Officer in the FAO Nutrition and Food Systems Division.